Tata Group’s publisher Westland has taken Flipkart to the Delhi High Court alleging that (pdf) Flipkart is violating copyrights and the IT Act by selling Amish Tripathi’s latest novel Scion of Ikshvaku on its platform. This was first reported by the Economic Times. According to the ET report, Westland claims that it signed a 2 month exclusive deal with Amazon to sell the book via Amazon. The Delhi High Court heard the matter and has asked Flipkart to respond by 4 August.
Flipkart, allegedly, denied this violation by stating that it was only a marketplace connecting sellers and customers through its platform. A Flipkart spokesperson told ET that the Delhi High Court declined to pass a restraint order against Flipkart India or any of the sellers with respect to the sale of the Tripathi book.
A similar situation had arisen when publisher Rupa had signed an exclusive deal with Flipkart to sell Chetan Bhagat’s Half Girlfriend book and found that Amazon was selling the book on its platform. It is not known how long Flipkart had the rights to sell the Bhagat book for. Flipkart, at that point, had said that it was an open marketplace where sellers were free to sell items of their choice.
Previous copyright violation cases:
– Last month, Nalli Sarees served a notice to Snapdeal for allegedly having its registered trademark Nalli as a search word and copying images from its website for back-grounding an offer on silk sarees. Snapdeal removed Nalli sarees from its platform following the cease and desist order from the Chennai-based garment manufacturer,.
– In May, pan India saree distributor Shree Meena Creations filed a lawsuit against Flipkart, Amazon and eBay, along with about two dozen sellers on these marketplaces for allegedly selling replicas of its copyrighted sarees. The lawsuit was filed on March 20, 2015, but hadn’t yet been admitted in court.
– In June last year, music studios and copyright owners were sending out copyright violation claims against video performances of Carnatic music. YouTube channel Parivadhini received a notification of copyright violation after uploading a live performance of a composition by famous 19th century composer Thyagaraja.
– Blueberry Books, the publisher of children’s books had filed a lawsuit against Google, Apple, Amazon and RIM in 2012, alleging that an app titled ‘Story Time for Kids’ had infringed on their copyright by making available four of their stories on their paltforms. In December 2013, Delhi High Court removed Google India, Research In Motion India (Blackberry) and Amazon as parties to a case of alleged copyright violation in App stores, while deciding that there is, prima facie, a case against Apple India.